Home News Friday Afternoon News, July 19th

Friday Afternoon News, July 19th


Sioux City Dealing With Rat Infestation At Abandon Residence

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The city has joined battle with a legion of rats that have infested a condemned home in Sioux City.
Neighbors have complained to the city, fearing the rats will spread to their properties in the city’s Leeds neighborhood. One resident says rats have been seen coming from the house for more than a year. Several neighbors call the conditions at the property disgusting.
Mayor Bob Scott says the city has been trapping and poisoning the rats.
The Sioux City Journal reports that a wire mesh barrier was erected around the property, although Scott says he realizes the rats can and have climbed over it.
One neighborhood resident reports once seeing up to 15 to 20 rats a day, a figure that’s fallen to two or three a day since the city took action.
It’s unclear why the condemned home hasn’t been renovated or razed.



Voter Registration System Will Continue

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s 14-year-old voter registration system will live to see another presidential election.
The Iowa Secretary of State’s office confirmed Thursday that a long-discussed plan to replace the I-Voters database will not be completed before the 2020 elections.
Spokesman Kevin Hall says the office is still in the information-
gathering phase of the project. He says the state plans to solicit
information from potential vendors soon and later move forward with a bidding process.
Hall says the project will cost millions and “we owe it to the voters of Iowa to build it responsibly with the future of elections and security in mind.”
Current and former state officials say the I-Voters system is secure and that they’ve taken steps to prevent intrusions. Built in 2005, the system has been updated numerous times and contains Iowa’s 2 million registered voters.
Linn County Auditor Joel Miller, a Democrat, says he worries the
system is running on technology that is vulnerable to hackers. He says he’s disappointed by the pace of the replacement project.



Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Holds Steady

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s unemployment rate remained 2.4% in June, making it among the lowest in the nation.
The rate released Friday by the Workforce Development agency ranked third in the nation, behind only Vermont and North Dakota.
Iowa’s unemployment rate has been stuck at 2.4% for nearly a year.
Both the number of people working and those who are unemployed increased slightly in June from May figures.
Iowa’s rate compares to a national unemployment rate of 3.7%.



Addias Sporting Group Added To Lawsuit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Sportswear maker Adidas Group has been added as a defendant in a lawsuit against a former Iowa youth basketball coach now serving a 180-year prison sentence for sexually exploiting hundreds of former players.

The civil lawsuit was initially filed in state court in Iowa in November on behalf of a victim identified only as John Doe who was a youth basketball player for two years. It initially sought to recover damages from former Iowa Barnstormers coach Greg Stephen, the Barnstormers and its supervising organization, the Amateur Athletic Union.

The lawsuit was amended July 11 to add Adidas, a team sponsor. The suit claims the German company failed to protect the safety and ensure the privacy of minor athletes.

Stephen is serving a 180-year prison sentence after pleaded guilty in October 2018 to sexually exploiting young players.

An Adidas spokesman did not reply to a message.



Southeast Iowa Man Sent To Prison For Sending Methamphetamine-Laced Greeting Cards To Inmates

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa man who shared methamphetamine-laced greeting cards, letters and other paper goods with fellow jail inmates has been sentenced to 26 years in prison.

Prosecutors say 47-year-old Kelly Mitchell, of Burlington, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Davenport. He’d pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and phentermine, and providing contraband to an inmate.

Mitchell acknowledged to authorities that while in custody at Muscatine County Jail on unrelated drug charges, he regularly received coloring pages, greeting cards, letters, envelopes and other paper goods that had been soaked in a liquid containing meth and another controlled substance. He then provided those papers to other inmates.



Swine Exhibitors Must Meet New Inspection Rules For Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials have announced new inspection rules for pigs that will be shown at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.
An Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship news release said Friday that the additional exhibition requirements are designed to promote biosecurity and animal health as African swine fever continues to spread across China and other parts of Asia and Europe.
All pigs must be individually inspected and identified on a
certificate of veterinary inspection that was completed within seven days of the fair, which runs Aug. 8-18 this year. A veterinarian will inspect all pigs as they arrive at the Des Moines fairgrounds before they are unloaded or mixed with other livestock.
Biosecurity concerns led organizers to cancel the World Pork Expo scheduled for last month at the fairgrounds.
The National Pork Producers Council says African swine fever affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is no vaccine to treat the disease.



Coast Guard Asking Boaters To Be Watchful As Construction Continues On Bridge

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) – The U.S. Coast Guard and Iowa Department of Transportation are asking recreational boaters to be vigilant as construction of a new bridge over the Mississippi River continues.
The Quad-City Times reports that the Interstate 74 bridge construction zone is potentially dangerous for recreational boaters. Danielle Alvarez, I-74 project manager for the state DOT, says boats should slow to a crawl when in and near the work zone. Boaters should also keep a safe distance from the
project’s tow boats as they are constantly delivering workers and supplies.

Excursion boat captain Scott Schadler says some boats are getting close to barges so occupants can look at the bridge construction. He says that can be dangerous because barge operators can’t see the boaters because the barges
are loaded with equipment.